What Does Obsession Symbolize In The Great Gatsby

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Obsession can develop in many ways, whether it is a love interest, a dream job, obsession can form for many reasons. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, he explores society’s infatuation with the American Dream of obtaining wealth and the consequences of that dream. Fitzgerald’s novel tells the story of Nick Carraway, the narrator, who moves to the wealthy neighborhood of West Egg. Nick becomes curious about Gatsby, his neighbor, and learns that Gatsby is pursuing Daisy, the wife of Tom Buchanan. This leads to a rivalry between Tom, an old college friend from Yale, and Gatsby where Fitzgerald warns of the consequences of obsession with a dream through the power struggle between the two characters. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald warns…show more content…
Fitzgerald uses color to express the American Dream is all consuming of those who seek it through the symbolism of color. The green light at the end of Daisy’s dock symbolizes the dream that Gatsby has about romancing Daisy and being perceived as old money. As Fitzgerald writes, “[Gatsby] stretched out his arms toward that dark water in a curious way … I glanced seaward-and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far way, that may have been at the end of a dock.” (Fitzgerald 20-21) Therefore, it is evident that the green light symbolizes Gatsby’s dream of successfully romancing Daisy because Gatsby is reaching for the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, and Nick eventually says, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future” (Fitzgerald 180). Therefore, Fitzgerald communicates that the green light symbolizes Gatsby’s dream of romancing Daisy because the green light represents an orgastic future that lies at the end of Daisy’s dock. However, Fitzgerald suggests that the American Dream, the dream of becoming exceedingly wealthy, and in Gatsby’s case becoming old money, is all consuming of those who seek it. Fitzgerald suggests this because once Gatsby disappears, “[Gatsby] had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness”. (Fitzgerald 21) The only thing that is visible on this night is the green light because once the light disappears; Nick is left in darkness. Thus, the green light encompasses all of Gatsby’s vision when he stretches his arm out. Therefore, Fitzgerald expresses that those who seek the American Dream, like Gatsby, become obsessed with the American Dream because it is the only thing they see. However, Fitzgerald purposefully chose green to be the color of the light because people often associate the color green with life and youth. Therefore, Fitzgerald suggests that the green light that represents Gatsby’s
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